If there is one subject you can count on to send homeschool mamas running for cover, it’s maths.
Or math for my American buddies 😉 (Seriously though. As an Aussie, it pains me to write it that way haha)
I’m not sure why, but maths has gotten a bit of a bad rep in the homeschool world. It’s often seen as uninteresting, uninspiring and difficult to teach. We spend hours upon hours trying to find the perfect programs, devising ways to make it fun and hands on for our kids, trying to remember the basics ourselves…
If you read my approach to language arts, you will know that I am not about to turn learning into a chore.
Yes, I have certain skills I want to teach each year.
Yes, I believe in the importance of literacy, maths literacy included.
No, I’m not going to make my kids suffer through a program that is dry and dull.
Enter Homemade Math.
Keep reading for a fantastic coupon code at the end!
In the interest of full disclosure, I have received this unit for free in exchange for an honest review. I am in no way compelled to review this product favourably. This is my honest opinion after having used this product over the course of a term. Please note this post also contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure statement for full details.
Homemade Math is the brainchild of Becky, a qualified mathematics teacher from Australia. This isn’t a full curriculum, rather Homemade Math is a set of resources for parents to help inspire a love of maths in their children.
There’s lots more to Becky’s story but I’ll let her tell it to you. You can read it here!
Becky’s website has tonnes of helpful freebies as well as a series of unit studies available for purchase. The units aren’t designed as independent study for kids. Instead they help guide parents in teaching foundational mathematical concepts in a fun, hands-on way, inspired by classic children’s literature.
“We used the Jungle Book unit. I love the way the units teach you to seek out other hands on maths opportunities that spring from literature”
Amy from Queensland
When Becky asked me if I would like to review her product, she was kind enough to let me choose which unit I thought would fit in to our homeschool plans the best. Farming and traditional lifestyles are a major topic for Waldorf third grade, and Little House in the Big Woods was already on our reading list, so it seemed like the obvious choice.
While Becky has ensured her units line up with the curriculum outcomes for mathematics as laid out in the Australian curriculum, the Framework for Steiner curriculum does differ significantly for various reasons. Third grade in a Steiner/Waldorf program tackles measurement as a major topic. The Little House unit by Homemade Math focuses on measurement as well, which tied in perfectly for us.
Does this mean if you aren’t in third grade you can’t use this unit?
Absolutely not. It does however, make this unit the perfect fit for a Waldorf-inspired third grader 😉
I had planned on using the unit for our maths practice lessons during term 3 but we ended up having a few stops and starts due to..well…life. The unit was really easy to pick back up where we left off and I found that reading a chapter from our novel was a great way to get back into the swing of things.
Not that we needed much help! My son loved this so much that he kept reminding me we had more lessons to do 😉
“We were pleased to find an Australian curriculum that was based on one of our favourite classic books. My children found out that maths can be fun if you use your imagination and all of our children could work from this using just what we had in our home. We can not wait to see what other magical maths blocks Homemade Math has to offer!”
Lizzie from Tasmania
If you follow me on Insta, you probably already know that we loved this unit. But you may not know why.
“How do I love thee, let me count the ways”….
*The units are easy to use. There are clearly stated aims, section outlines, skill checklists and material lists at the start of each section. There is also a handy vocab list of mathematical terms there as well. There are also at-a-glance tables included. I printed these and added them to my planning folder.
*The units make it easy to scale difficulty level up or down. Becky makes suggestions for changing the language you use, and for simplifying or extending each activity to make it appropriate for your child’s skill level.
*It is easy to combine children, even the toddler! When you homeschool multiple ages, you are always looking for ways to combine you children where you can. The scalability of the units makes it easy to do this. Because everything is hands on with every day items, even my toddler was able to join in. I’ve since found her with a ruler or tape measure in her hand measuring all sorts of things! There are also ‘advanced pathways’ included with each activity to challenge your older child.
*The unit is full of fun and out-of-the-box activities. I like to think of myself as being pretty good at coming up with fun activities, but Becky has included things I would never have thought of! Yes, there is the typical baking session included, but there are also some really clever ideas like using the kids toys in the study of area. All of the activities link back to events in the story to keep it relevant. It’s also very easy to expand the maths activities into handwork ideas if you like to include those in your week.
*The units are ACARA linked. At the end of the unit you can find a complete table of the ACARA guidelines met for each grade in each activity. This makes life super easy when it comes to official planning and reporting requirements.
“The Charlotte’s Web unit was beautiful and started some great discussions even after completion. We read Charlotte’s Web every night in readiness for the unit which was a great way to engage my bookworm in her not-so-favourite subject; maths”
Casey from Victoria
You know you’ve loved a product when the worst thing you can say about it is that it was a bummer to print. Seriously. That’s all I’ve got.
Oh, and that there aren’t more units available yet!
Because I am definitely going to be purchasing more of these units down the track.
Seriously though, I know I’m being a little picky but the printing was a little bit of an issue for me. The unit is in full colour and quite a few of the pages have photographs included. I chose to print only selected pages, and to print in grey scale, to conserve ink which wasn’t ideal. But it wasn’t a deal breaker either. (I will be suggesting to Becky that she makes this more print friendly.)
All in all, the pros far outweighed the cons and I would highly recommend trying this program out in your home.
Becky from Homemade Math has kindly given me a coupon code to share with you all. Enter the code: WHOLEHOME at checkout to receive 25% off your purchase. Offer valid until midnight Saturday 14th October, 2018 (AEST)
You can find the units and lots more at www.homemademath.net